His Jewel

I enjoy reading license plate frames. They can tell so much about a person. Sometimes I find myself trying to piece something together about the owner of the vehicle. My imagination goes in all directions.

For instance, a few days ago I pulled up at a stoplight behind a woman driving a car with a plate that said

Love is being his “JEWEL”

I wondered . . .

Was Jewel a nickname for Julie?

Had she bought the license plate herself?

Or had her husband purchased it as a birthday, anniversary, or Christmas gift?

Jewels are thought to be precious.

Did he call her “his jewel” as way to honor and cherish his wife?

And if love is being “his jewel," did the couple have a caring and passionate relationship?

I don’t know.

But I do know that everyone desires to be loved and cherished at some point in their lives.

God loves us.
He cherishes us.
We’re special and important enough that He gave us the gift of eternal life with Him.

You are precious – and you’re loved by the One who not only loves, but is love.

You are “His Jewel.”

Embrace that truth and hold it in your heart.


Winner of Book-Give-Away

And the winner is . . . Cherie J

Cherie J will receive an autographed copy of her choice from The Daughters of Boston series by Julie Lessman.

Thanks to everyone who not only popped in during Julie’s visit to my blog, but also left comments and contributed to the discussion.

Thanks also to Julie for once again providing honest feedback to our questions – and for writing books we love to read!


A Dialogue with Julie Lessman – Author of “A Passion Denied.”

I’m happy to welcome my friend, Julie Lessman, for a return blog visit so we can talk about her latest release, A Passion Denied. Julie will be popping in all week long to respond to your comments and questions.

This is the third book in her Daughters of Boston series. In A Passion Most Pure and A Passion Redeemed we follow the stories of the two older O’Connor sisters, Faith and Charity. In this book, Elizabeth (Lizzie) O’Connor loves someone who won’t allow himself to love her in return.

Recognized as an author who pushes the boundaries for Christian Romance compared to what readers have been accustomed to in the past, the Romantic Times book review states, “This isn’t your mother’s inspirational fiction!”

Julie has a heart passionate for God, and she writes stories of faith out of that passion. Desiring to reach people who might not ordinarily read Christian romance, her characters come with real struggles and baggage. Married and single people experience the joy - and if abused - the destruction intimacy can bring into relationships.

In A Passion Denied, the author gives the reader a real message of hope for healing and forgiveness to anyone who has ever been wounded, or been the one to inflict pain. That pretty much covers us all.

Read on to learn more, and then enjoy the dialogue with Julie concerning the book’s storyline.

You also have a CHANCE TO WIN AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY of any of the three Daughters of Boston books. (See below.)

Back Cover Blurb

A Love So True, a Memory So False …
and a Passion Denied

Elizabeth O’Connor has been the little sister John Brady always longed for, sharing his love of literature and his thirst for God. But in the throes of the reckless “Roaring Twenties, “Lizzie” suddenly wants more from the man who has mentored her since she was thirteen. When this shy, little bookworm blossoms into a beautiful young woman bent on loving him, she discovers John’s past won’t let him go there. Unfortunately, Lizzie won’t let him go anywhere else—until his dark and shocking secrets push her away.

Can true love survive the betrayal and deceit of a painful past … or will it be shattered like the fairy-tale dreams of a young girl in love?

Brimming with romance, longing and betrayal, Book 3 in the Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Denied, will quicken your pulse and gladden your heart with a riveting story of redemption and forgiveness.

Dialogue with Julie

1. Julie, you’ve gained recognition as an author who pushes the boundaries in Christian romance novels when it comes to the joys and heartaches of physical intimacy between married couples – and the struggles of those not married. You create real characters. Why is it so important for you to be that honest in your work?

Remember Jim Caray’s character in the movie Liar, Liar—the guy who couldn’t stop from telling the truth whether he wanted to or not? Yep, that’s me. Even if I wanted to keep quiet and not say anything, my mouth would trip me up because I am above all things good and bad—honest to a fault. Once I bought groceries for a school function and was tallying the receipt for reimbursement when I noticed the grocery store hadn’t charged me for a jar of nuts. I immediately got on the phone with the store manager and asked if it would be okay if I brought the money in on my next trip to the store. He paused and said, “Mrs. Lessman, I have only one thing to say—nuts to you!” He told me that I should keep the nuts as a thank you for my honesty.

A very nice story, but I’m afraid that when it comes to my honesty in portraying real Christians with real temptations in my brand of “edgy Inspirational fiction,” a lot of people still think I’m pretty “nuts.” But that’s okay because I am absolutely driven to be as real and as passionate in the writing of my books as I am in my relationship with God. It is critical to me that I write the type of fiction that draws women like I used to be—women who, yeah, maybe they believe in God, but they are not living for him—not in their lives or in their sexuality.

I look at the young women today, mired in an amoral society, and my heart cries out to make a difference in their lives. To show them what God showed me—that unless He is in the center of our relationships, true happiness will be very hard to come by. Unfortunately, most of these types of girls and women don’t read Inspirational Romance. BUT … it is my desire—and I hope, God’s—that the edgy romantic tension in my books will somehow draw women like this to the type of Inspirational Romance that I write. And IF they read it, I am convinced the spiritual message will resonate for some of them.

2. In the beginning of A Passion Denied, Lizzie O’Connor is like so many young girls in that she dreams of marrying the perfect man, her Prince Charming. But the man she loves is not as perfect as she thought. Through it, Lizzie learned what it means to not only deeply love, but to love with a maturity that endures through hard times.

I really think this is a common problem among young women today—an overly idealistic view of what marriage or love will be like, or at least it was for me when I was that age. I mean let’s face it—Hollywood’s view (or a romance novel’s view) of happily ever after is quite different from reality, although with God at the center of a relationship, I believe you can come as close to that ideal as humanly possible in this world. Although it takes a lot of work and application of God’s precepts to do it, it can be done, and I am living proof. I am married for over 30 years to a man who makes me feel as if I am living my own personal romance novel. Let me tell you, that doesn’t just happen. It takes Jesus Christ at the center of a marriage and radical commitment to His precepts.

3. You show through story how important it is for couples to be able to forgive each other. That no matter how young or old the relationship, it can still be wounded, but it can also be healed when pride isn’t allowed to get in the way.

Grin. Yeah, well I have an over 30-year-old relationship with my sweet husband that has taught me A LOT about pride getting in the way, trust me! Let’s face it, we are all emotional and fallible beings no matter our age or marital status, and the need for forgiveness and healing will NEVER go away until we cross the Great Divide to spend eternity with Jesus. And as an older women with lots of “pride” experience under her belt, I especially wanted to relate the struggles of older married couples in a romance novel because I feel that is so seldom done in this genre. Which is why when people ask me what genre I write, I tell them “Inspirational Family Saga Romance” rather than just romance. Romance and life happens to all of us, regardless of age. I want to write romantic stories that offer a kaleidoscope of emotion through the eyes of characters of all ages and experiences, not just the young, single hero and heroine. I mean, really, why should the young people get all the fun??? Life is ageless, after all, and I think romance should be too!

4. Another truth is brought into the story. A man may desire to be physically close with the woman he loves and marries, but just like a woman, he can also struggle with that kind of intimacy if deeply wounded in his past.

Oh, absolutely! When I met my husband, he was toting around a boatload of baggage from past relationships where his trust in women had been greatly damaged. Keep in mind that it was the 1970s when the morality was as bad as it is now. So when he met me and I explained very calmly that I was a Christian who intended to do things God’s way (just like Faith calmly explains to Mitch in A Passion Most Pure), it wasn’t what he was used to. But because of Christ transforming me from a Charity to a Faith with the amazing power of His merciful salvation, I won my husband’s respect, trust and heart in a courtship that was completely moral until we said “I do.”

5. What are you currently working on? What can we look forward to reading, and when?

My next 3-book series will finish off the saga of the O’Connors in grand style, but I must emphasize that this will be a BRAND-NEW series, NOT a part of The Daughters of Boston Series. And oh my, you won’t believe the trouble brewing in O’Connorland!

As you know, there are six O'Connor children in all, four daughters and two sons, and each one will have their own story. As a matter of fact, I JUST finished Book 1 of the next series on St. Pat's Day—pretty timely, eh, for a series about an Irish family? It is Katie's story, the fourth daughter, which was fun because she is a pistol who comes of age in the Roaring Twenties, right before The Great Depression.

Books 2 and 3 will be about the O'Connor brothers, Sean and then Steven, all during the exciting era of speakeasies, dance marathons, gangsters, G-men and era criminals like Bonnie & Clyde and John Dillenger. Sean's love interest will be ... guess who? Emma—Charity's scarred friend from Dublin! And Steven will be a tall, brooding G-man-type modeled after real-life Elliot Ness. Some of your readers are probably too young to remember this, but I am modeling him after Robert Stack from the Untouchables, who played Eliot Ness in the TV show years ago. I am very excited because all three plots are very involved, include detailed sub-stories for ALL the character couples (can you say "complicated"???) and each plot has surprises that I hope and pray will blow readers away!

Thank you SO much, Dawn, for allowing me this time to connect with you and your readers. Anyone who would like to contact me can do so through my website at http://www.julielessman.com/, either by sending an e-mail via my site or by signing up for my newsletter, in which I feature book giveaways. And, of course, your readers will enjoy visiting both of us at The Seekers (http://seekerville.blogspot.com/), our group blog that talks about “The road to publication. Writing, contests, publication and everything in between.”


Please leave a comment for a chance to WIN AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY of any of the three Daughters of Boston books. You can name the one you'd like to receive if your name is drawn. Then please leave your email address in this format: dawnkinzer (at)comcast (dot )net to avoid spammers or anything else from glomming on to your email address!

Thanks for visiting!

Coming Up! Diaglogue with Julie Lessman and Book Give-A-Way

I’m happy to welcome my friend, Julie Lessman, for a return blog visit from July 19-25 so we can talk about her latest release, A Passion Denied.

Julie Lessman is a new author who has garnered much writing acclaim, including ten Romance Writers of America awards. She resides in Missouri with her husband and their golden retriever, and has two grown children and a daughter-in-law. You can learn more about Julie through her website at http://www.julielessman.com/.

Recognized as an author who pushes the boundaries for Christian Romance compared to what readers have been accustomed to in the past, the Romantic Times book review of A Passion Denied states, “This isn’t your mother’s inspirational fiction!”

Julie will be popping in all week long to respond to your comments and questions.

You’ll also have a chance to win a free autographed copy of A Passion Denied just by joining the dialogue and leaving a comment.

Join us!



Do you ever experience cravings?

My twenty-five year old daughter craves exercise. It relieves stress, contributes to her self-confidence, and keeps her in great shape. That’s not a bad craving to have.

I, unfortunately, crave things that aren’t so good for me. My latest is potato chips. For years I had no problem staying away from them. But lately—it’s just like the commercial boasts. I can’t eat just one!

My husband and I strive to eat healthy. But, on the occasion chips are brought into the house – like when friends are coming over for a barbeque – I can’t seem to stay away from the crunchy, salty, temptations. I tell myself that I’m just going to have a few. But before I know it, I’m back at the bag, practically shoveling them into my mouth.

Normally I crave sugar—especially dark chocolate. But lately, salt has managed to get a grip on me. I want to devour anything salty. Not only chips, but pizza and French fries. AND . . . I can consume a HUGE bowl of my husband’s homemade popcorn.

Most cravings aren’t good for us.

Addicts battle destructive habits every day. They crave food, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, porn, sex, and gambling. Some people may even crave dangerous thrills.

But there is one craving—whether you claim to be a Christian or not—that I believe is innate and good. And that’s a craving to know God. To know that there is something or someone greater than us.

God desires for us to crave Him. Relationship with Him. Time with Him.

Because He craves relationship with us.

Just like not being able to stop at eating one potato chip, God desires for us to feel like we never can get enough of Him.

The God of the universe—and beyond—craves relationship with us!

He loves us that much!

Pretty humbling, isn’t it?

Think about it . . . and then maybe . . . just maybe . . . you’ll take the time to feed that craving.

Blessings for a great week!


Finger Painting or a Masterpiece

There are days when it’s easy to question if God really has a hand in what’s happening—or not happening in our lives.

Why must we work so hard to make ends meet, only to see bills piling up? We tithe. Doesn’t God care that we continue to give, even though we fall farther and farther behind in debt? Where is He in all of this?

We dream of successful careers, but our labor seems in vain as one door after the other slams in our face.

A child is finally placed in a mother’s arms—a gift from heaven—only to be snatched away, too soon.

We pray unceasingly for a soul mate. Someone to love. Someone to share our lives with. While everyone around us seems to have “someone,” we remain alone.

It’s difficult to wait.

But God sees the big picture, while in reality, we can’t even see 10 seconds into the future. Even though it may drive us crazy to wait, His timing is perfect.
He’s always moving in our lives and on our behalf.

Sometimes we’re not ready for what He has planned for us.
Sometimes what lies ahead is not ready for us.

We may need to learn—grow—or even change our course several times before we discover answers. Most likely, whatever it is, will be better than what we could have come up with ourselves.

Humans are impatient creatures. Left on our own, we’d create a life for ourselves that would resemble a child’s finger painting. Cute. Simple. Messy.

But if we allow God to paint the canvas of our lives, the creation can become a masterpiece. Vibrant. Defined. Full of purpose. Detailed. Constructively complex. Beautiful.

It’s not easy waiting.

But I’d rather lead a life created from the Master, than my own, fumbling hands.

How about you?


New Blog for Christian Writers - Seriously Write

The written word is powerful. It can comfort, challenge, and inspire. It can make us laugh and bring us to tears.

But, how can we effectively communicate our message and touch lives?

My good friend, Annette M. Irby, and I have teamed up to create a new blog for Christian writers, Seriously Write.

Our mission is to help writers succeed in spreading the message God has given them through their writing. On this blog, you’ll find information on craft, encouragement, and resources.

Here’s what you can expect:

Manuscript Mondays * – On Mondays, we’ll focus on the craft of writing.

Net’s Notations – On Tuesdays, Annette will offer her thoughts on writing.

Writer’s Journey * – On Wednesdays, we’ll provide resources, information on writers’ organizations, conferences, and advice, as well as featuring writing books.

Dawn’s Devotional – On Thursdays, I’ll share inspirational thoughts for the writer.

Fortifying Fridays * – On Fridays, visit for challenging and encouraging words to launch your weekend, including success stories.

* Guest writers

Please visit Seriously Write and join in the fun!

If you're a writer and would like to offer pieces to coincide with the topics listed for Monday/Wednesday/Friday above, please leave a message in the comments or email me at dawnkinzer [at] comcast [dot] net. We're actively seeking submissions as we schedule through the summer.

Happy writing!


What's New in Christian Fiction?

Happy July! And congratulations to these authors whose work releases this month!

1. A Promise Kept, Heartsong Presents Historical Ohio Book 1 , by Cara C. Putman from Heartsong Present. Newlyweds Josie & Art must choose whether to honor the promises they've made when their relationship experiences the fire of pain.

2. Blackmail, sixth and final book in the Bayou Series, by Robin Carroll from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. The sixth and final book in Robin Carroll's romantic suspense bayou series.

3. Cranberry Hearts, by Lena Nelson Dooley, Beth Goddard and Lisa Harris from Barbour Publishing. What will happen when three Massachusetts women find their journeys home lead them down dangerous paths?

4. Deadly Intent, by Camy Tang from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Massage therapist Naomi Grant must prove her innocence when her client is murdered in her family's Sonoma day spa.

5. Gripped By Fear, The Chicago Warriors Series, by John M. Wills from TotalRecall. Two Chicago Detectives struggle to capture a serial rapist.

6. Hometown Courtship, by Diann Hunt from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. A carpenter and a hair stylist work to build a house together--but are they building much more?

7. Lonestar Secrets, Lonestar Series Book 2, by Colleen Coble from Thomas Nelson. A young veterinarian returns to her childhood home and finds the man who humiliated her may be in custody of a daughter she thought had died.

8. Love's Rescue, The Sierra Chronicles Book One, by Tammy Barley from Whitaker House. A headstrong Southern woman falls for her kidnapper, a Western cattleman she blames for the loss of her family.

9. Maggie Rose, Second in The Daughters of Jacob Kane series , by Sharlene MacLaren from Whitaker House. Mission-minded Maggie Rose takes a job at an orphanage in New York City, never expecting to fall in love with a hardnosed newspaper reporter.

10. Menu for Romance, Brides of Bonneterre Series Book #2, by Kaye Dacus from Barbour Publishing. The Chef and the Party Planner Each Seek the Kind of Love that Requires No Reservations.

11. Montana Rose, by Mary Connealy from Barbour Publishing. Love Comes Softy, with mayhem, comedy and gunfire.

12. Ransome's Honor, Book 1 The Ransome Trilogy, by Kaye Dacus from Harvest House PUblishers. Once Youthful Sweethearts—Can Their Love Be Renewed?

13. Rose of the Adriatic, Sequel to Jewel of the Adriatic , by K.M. Daughters from The Wild Rose Press. Messages of hope and peace for the world from Our Lady of Medjugorje woven into a prayerful, fictional love story.

14. Second Chance Family, Fostered by Love Series Book 4, by Margaret Daley from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. Whitney and Shane, two wounded people, come together to try and help each other heal from their past through the appeal of a little boy who is autistic.

15. The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn, by Liz Johnson from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Kenzie Thorn is surprised when she's kidnapped from the prison where she teaches a GED course, and even more shocking is that someone wants her dead.

16. The Last Resort, The Wanderlust Mysteries Book 2, by April Star from Five Star Gale I Cengage Learning. One woman's murder and a bottle washed ashore on the St. Anastasia beach open a Pandora's box and unleash secrets pursued by an entire camping resort . . . and the truth proves as elusive as the killer in their midst.

17. The Sacred Cipher, by Terry Brennan from Kregel Publications. An ancient, secret scroll could trigger nuclear war or world peace, four Americans are caught in the crossfire, and opposing radicals will stop at nothing to silence The Sacred Cipher.

Happy Reading!


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